Pen vs prosumer

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by cphy, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. cphy

    cphy TPF Noob!

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    I am planning to buy a new camera and I am deciding between the following. I was hoping some experts' opinions would help better facilitate my decision making.

    1. Olympus E-P1
    2. Panasonic DMC-LX3
    3. Panasonic DMC-GF1
    4. Canon G11

    Other recommendations would be great too.
     
  2. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you want to change lenses?
    Are you planning to buy more lenses down the road?
    Camera size matter?
    Do you need on-camera build-in flash?
    Do you need in-body image stabilization?
    ...
    ...
     
  3. cphy

    cphy TPF Noob!

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    I am okay with or without lenses. not planning to go pro though.
    size doesn't matter
    I don't know about build-in flash, prolly yes but it depends on its guide no. i mostly take
    -macro
    -indoor
    -landscapes
    -night
    image stablization is good.
     
  4. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  5. grafxman

    grafxman TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    To do the type of photography you list:

    -macro
    -indoor
    -landscapes
    -night

    you need a DSLR. The DSLR should be capable of handling a lens such as this:

    Sigma - Lenses

    I don't work for Sigma however a casual analysis of their lens offerings and those from most camera manufacturers will show that Sigma's offerings normally have a wider selection for less money. The trade off is supposed to be less image quality however i haven't noticed any. There may be other lens that have similar capabilities.

    Many people, myself included, buy a camera body then buy a lens that meets our requirements. Nearly all kit lens are of very poor quality. For what it's worth, many people get hooked on photography so it pays to buy a really decent first camera. After you do that, it's all about how many lens you have to buy to achieve your goals.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    i checked out several cameras before getting the pen.

    it is terrific and i basically use it as a point and shoot when i don't want to carry a lot of equipment around. I have the 17mm 2.8 lens and find it wonderfully sharp and the larger sensor vs a p&s made a lot of differences for my. It also feels like a real camera. I tested it against the G-10 and found it more to my liking.
     
  7. cphy

    cphy TPF Noob!

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    The prob with a DSLR is the cost of it. Not planning to go pro, and don't have that much money for a hobby. Any other alternatives to DSLRs?
     
  8. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    hum ...... but the E-P1 and the GF1 are not cheap either. Do you have a budget in mind? Photography unfortunately is not a cheap hobby even not going pro. However, there are ways to save money. Buying used or refurbished gears maybe cut some cost.
     
  9. cphy

    cphy TPF Noob!

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    I'm abit anal about using 2nd hand item, fussy about the condition of it. Budget perhaps around s$1.7K.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  10. grafxman

    grafxman TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    $1.7K is more than enough for an excellent camera and lens. The Canon EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR body goes for around $650 and the Canon EOS 50D SLR body goes for around $930. The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM goes for around $450. You can get the excellent 50D and Sigma lens and have a few hundred dollars left over for memory cards, additional batteries, etc.

    I'm sure Nikon has a similar camera but I'm unfamiliar with their stuff. I do know the Sigma lens is also available for Nikon cameras. There may be other lens that I don't know about. You will likely want a powerful telephoto zoom in the future but you can get off to a good start now. Both cameras have a learning curve to go through so that will take a lot of time. Whatever you get, be sure to buy from a reputable company such as BHphotovideo, amazon or adorama.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1) I posted my opinions about the E-P1 several months ago in another thread:

    "So my local camera shop has one in stock and was nice enough to let me handle it. I am not claiming this to be a review of any sorts, just my initial thoughts from the 10 mins I had it in my hands. I also didn't have a card with me (on my way home from work) so I didn't get a chance to get samples to examine. I also got some additional time with the Panasonic G1 that I've been eyeing as well as a comparison.

    As much as I want to like the camera, I just can't get into it.
    * The camera felt solid and it is a very attractive design. It has a very retro look to it. It isn't much smaller than my rangefinders.
    * I didn't like how you had to manually extend the lens before use.. It slowed me down A LOT. The panasonic kit lens doesn't require to manually extend the lens and it is just a tiny bit longer.. big deal. P&S cameras that electronically extend the lens are faster.
    * The AF seemed a little slower than the pansonic G1.
    * The fixed LCD has a wide viewing angle but just isn't a replacement to the swing out LCD of the panasonic G1. My Canon G5 has a similar design and I like it.. one of the features I wish continued into Canon's current G-series cameras.
    * The LCD display is noticably lower resolution than the G1. Someone mentioned it is like the difference between a normal resolution TV versus HD. Both will work but HD is so much nicer. I agree.
    * BIG DEAL BREAKER: I tried and tried. I just prefer an eye-level viewer. I cannot get used to holding the camera at arms length to compose a picture. The G1 automatically switches between the eye-level viewer and the LCD panel. It is very fluid and slick.

    Since the first mock up at photokina, I have been so excited but I just can't help feel the E-P1 was designed more by Olympus' P&S division (they have good P&S cameras btw) rather than lead by their DSLR division. As a high end P&S, this seems to be one very good competitor. I am still excited over the new m4/3rd design but there are just too many things about this Olympus E-P1 that doesn't fit me. I also don't like how both Panasonic and Olympus are not releasing a line of lenses (fast primes!) along with the new format. After all, a system is lead by the lenses not by the camera bodies.

    For me, I will probably eventually go with the Panasonic G1 (used as always). I really do like the camera... it is very slick and feels nice. It serves well as a compact backup to those DSLR users who don't like P&S. In my case, a replacement for my aging Canon G5. It serves as a neat adaptable system for people who like old manual lenses (my m-mounts, K-mounts, M42).

    For those coming in from the other end of the spectrum (P&S considering higher end), the Olympus would be a nice option. Better IQ and AF with a familiar P&S feel to it. Those in this corner would probably also consider the Canon G10 and Pansonic LX3. My personal choice in this arena would be the LX3."


    2) DMC-LX3
    This is one of my most used and enjoyed cameras. Absolute blast. I have it paired with an optical external flash slave: Metz 28 CS-2. I wrote my opinion in another thread:

    "I have the LX3 and it totally fits my needs. Fast lens, good low light shooting (for a P&S), good IQ, RAW, multiple exposure modes, and smaller than the G-series. My second choice was the G10 (or G9) but I needed something significantly smaller than my primary cameras to make it worth my while. Prior to the LX3, my P&S's were the G1 and G5. I also have a TZ5 which is not a high end P&S.. more like an all around super zoom.

    Things I don't like: Short focal range (this is a big stopper for a lot of people), confusing menus (i got used to it) and no optical viewfinder. You can buy a viewfinder but they should have made a brightline viewfinder with both 24mm and 60mm brightlines. Someone wasn't thinking things through when they spec'd out the viewfinder."


    3) In another thread, I spoke a bit about the GF1:

    "I have a few Panasonic camera now (TZ5, LX3, and G1)... great company who is pushing the compact camera. Right now I am playing around with the earlier version, the G1.

    * GF1 doesn't have a built in viewfinder. With the EVF viewfinder, it works well but it doesn't have much of the information you are used to seeing in a viewfinder. In this respect, I much prefer my G1 or the GH1.
    * With the EVF viewfinder attached the camera is taller than the G1.
    * AF performance beat my expectations.
    * Not exactly pocketable. Bigger than my LX3.
    * I liked the swing out LCD of my G1 not found on the GF1.
    * Cost wise. It is expensive relatively. You can buy a G1 for less and it will have The EVF built in. GF1 buys you nothing more than compactness.
    * I like the way the GF1 handles. I shoot with rangefinders and it felt natural in an odd way.
    * The micro 4/3rds sensor has a 2x crop. Lens selection is limited (for now). I personally bought the G1 as something to play around with older lenses (M42, Kmount, M-mount, Leica screwmount).
    * The sensor is small... high ISO is not going to be anywhere close to your Nikon. You want to stay under 400.

    That's all that comes to mind now... I borrowed it a couple times but didn't really have much time with it before finding a good deal on a G1. If you ask more specifics I might recall more."

    I will also add that the G1 and GH1 EVF viewfinder is superior to the GF1 EVF viewfinder. More information is displayed. My G1 also senses when I bring the EVF to my face and automatically switches between the EVF and rear LCD. Also keep in mind that the Micro 4/3rds sensor is larger (and better) than the tiny sensored P&S cameras... pretty much sets this system above the others. I also still find GF1+viewfinder a bit expensive.

    IMO, the success of this format is dependent on delivery of excellent lenses + accessories. This isn't a camera purchase but more of a system buy in just like any other DSLR system. As for me, I haven't exactly bought in to the 4/3rds system as the G1 (used) was intended to "play around" with my collection of manual focus lenses... taking advantage of the micro 4/3rds short film flange distance.

    4) Canon G11.. the well known leader in the P&S group. I am big fan of the g-series (except the G7). Unfortunately, I haven't had much time with the G11 and my LX3 full fills my needs well. I'm sure its well deserved its good reviews.



    Be aware, that I agree that none of these cameras will replace a full DSLR system for sheer Image Quality. On the other hand, these are tools that fit people's daily lives and enjoyment. I have access to numerous cameras including a 1 series canon but the LX3 (for example) follows me on my daily life.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    on btw.... Olympus supposedly released the E-P2.. Something to consider but I have yet to see it.
     

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